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The Icon Bar: Games: 2D or 3D?
 
  2D or 3D?
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Jeffrey Lee Message #84899, posted by Phlamethrower at 20:14, 17/11/2000
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Since the 2D vs 3D argument in the 'suggestions for game in development' thread is quite important, I decided to give it a thread of it's own smile

So, here are my arguments for 2D:
* Easier to program
* Faster than 3D engines
* You can easily see what's going on - most 3D racers have an external view as default, so you can see around you (i.e. internal views are rubbish)
* 2D games usually have simpler controls, while 3D games (e.g. the SWAT series) have complex controls which are getting tricky to fit on just a keyboard and mouse.

And for 3D:
* More immersive/realistic environments
* Usually more control over the character (if a fps)
* Allows a lot of strategy for fps's, e.g. hiding behind a door, while in a top-down view you could see the enemy
* 2D games have a restricted view, while 3D's don't
* Depth/height is harder to perceive in a 2D world/view than in a 3D one
* Was there anything wrong with (Arc)Elite's graphics? Would we be bothered if we had another game with filled polygons instead of textured? The textures could just be an option - so new computers can take advantage of them, without any serious slowdowns

Have fun flaming me smile

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Steve Allen Message #84900, posted by [Steve] at 23:25, 17/11/2000, in reply to message #84899
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3D games are the way forward but 2D games are easier to get right - 3D games flop very easily. And on this platform, more people have hardware to cope with 2D than 3D.

I think this platform should get the ideas first and sort the realisation later grin

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Nathan Message #84901, posted by Wrath at 23:43, 17/11/2000, in reply to message #84900
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Posts: 154
I think this thread is largely irrelevant for RISC OS. We need games, we have next to 0 game developers for RISC OS and we can't afford to grumble over 2D vs 3D. There are no 3D engines for RISC OS that are available for developers.
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Andrew Message #84902, posted by andreww at 23:58, 17/11/2000, in reply to message #84901
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Don't forget how immersive a game can be influenced greatly by user interactivity and atmosphere. I mean, I can't imagine a game much more immersive than Exile (this was indeed one of the author's objectives) or Exodus. I thought, the music for Exodus together with the great animations really pushed Acorn gaming to the next stage when it was released a couple of years ago.
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Nathan Message #84903, posted by Wrath at 00:40, 18/11/2000, in reply to message #84902
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Oh and 2D games must suck because SFE beat Quake in the best PD games ;-)
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Lee Johnston Message #84904, posted by johnstlr at 10:36, 18/11/2000, in reply to message #84903
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Posts: 193
I agree with Nathan that this thread is largely irrelevant for RISC OS. As he says we don't exactly have the developers to be choosey.

I don't actually believe that 3D necessarily leads to more immersive and realistic environments. Part of the problem is that there isn't a single game out there that reacts as you'd expect all the time. If I fire a missile at a wall in Quake does it blow a hole in it that I can walk through? No. There are more examples but 3D games, while giving an "impression" of a realistic environment rarely provide it. This is partly due to technological limitations but it's still a problem.

I don't believe you get more control over your character, what about Flashback? (Now there was an incredible game, and yet 2D).

The point about allowing for strategy, ie hiding behind a door while using a top down view to look around it destroys any sense of reality the game might have had....unless someone has invented the invisible floating camera and not told me cool. Besides you could achieve exactly the same effect in a top down 2D game - you only need to draw line of sight from the enemies to you, and because it's top down already you don't have to accept invisible floating cameras.

Would people be bothered if we had another Elite with flat shaded polygons? Well given some of the criticism I've read of Iron Dignity then...er yes.

Nathan also makes the point about there being no (actively supported and developed) 3D engines available to developers. This is a huge stumbling block. I've written a few basic ones in my time (nothing that could be used for a quality game) and people who haven't tried it just don't understand how complex it can be. I've made this point before but look at the PC market - very few people make engines, most people licence them. Those that make them don't tend to make very good games (sorry, I really think Quake is naff).

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Jeffrey Lee Message #84905, posted by Phlamethrower at 16:51, 20/11/2000, in reply to message #84904
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Well, I suppose I did tell people to flame me.

Anyway, not wanting to give up on my post, I think I'll pick a fight with Nathan... (Nothing personal, you understand)

SFE beat Quake because:
* It is a small download, compared to the shareware episode of Quake
* It runs at a decent speed, because it was programmed properly
* It has good multiplayer - up to 4 people on one computer, compared to Quake which had acceptaable net play but is now running out of players as people move on. Plus net games are harder to set up then getting a friend to sit down next to you to play against
* For single player, shareware Quake only has 1 episode and no bots, so will get boring after a while. However with SFE you could play for as long as you want against up to 3 computers.
* Plus there isn't much point comparing the two since they are completely different games

And Lee, that bit about the top down view - I was talking about 2D games there - In a 2D game you could see the person, while in 3D the door would be in the way.

Plus the bit about control - in Flashback you could look left, right, duck, run, roll, jump, and use items. In a modern 3D game you can look in all directions, duck, run, jump, strafe, lie down, climb ladders, and use items, as well as make up your own combinations - e.g. rocket jump scripts in Quake, although I'm not saying that's a good thing.

And just in case there as anyone else who was wondering, I'm talking about games where you are in direct control of the character - fps's, platformers, graphical RPG's such as Space Quest, Zelda on the gameboy, etc, and not really strategy games such as Exodus.

But you are probably right about this being irrelevant to RISC OS at the moment, although it would be a good idea to get the creative juices flowing so we know what we (and thus people who don't have an Acorn) want, so the games market can increase in size and RISC OS will rule the world.

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Nathan Message #84906, posted by Wrath at 17:33, 20/11/2000, in reply to message #84905
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I was only kidding about SFE.

About the creative juices, this is still irrelevant in RISC OS land. There are exceptionally few (I know none) coders who will write a game on what people want, they tend to think of something themselves and go down that route.

People want a new version of StuntRacer but you don't see people doing a version do you?

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Lee Johnston Message #84907, posted by johnstlr at 18:12, 20/11/2000, in reply to message #84906
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Jeff - sorry about the overhead misunderstanding - but you did make the comment in the "for 3D" section cool

Also you could climb in flashback, and the only reason you couldn't climb ladders was because there weren't any 8P

Actually I do think SFE is better than Quake - I'll stop trashing Quake now (one dimensional, tedious game that it is...)

More seriously I would love to do an update of Stunt Racer however my skills tend to lie in other areas (ok, I know 3D, but probably not to the required level for a modern game). Also I have this darn annoying thing called a thesis to write. I suspect that 2 years down the line Andrew will be in the same boat. Of course if someone pays me 25k / yr after I've written up then perhaps I'll do it.

It all comes down to time really.

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Nathan Message #84908, posted by Wrath at 18:24, 20/11/2000, in reply to message #84907
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I'd give you 25 grand a year for a new version of Stuntracer wink
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Andrew Message #84909, posted by andreww at 23:17, 20/11/2000, in reply to message #84908
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This is the age-old problem with many acorn games programmers I think. In two years I'll hopefully be in a similar situation to Lee but I knew from the outset that coding this game would have to be done in spare time. Therefore I suspect a number of things will be beyond me for now or at least be slow in coming. When you're working on something part-time, other things will of course take priority, uni. work, your job and even family life!!
However, one other thing I had in mind just as much was that there should be no reason why I can't ever find some time to work on the game under most circumstances and so I'm fairly determined to complete it. After all, I enjoy doing it, so why shouldn't I find time to do this!
I wonder if anybody else feels in a similar way. I'm sure there are plenty of games programmers who have in the history of 32-bit Acorn gaming had to balance these things but done them because they were enjoyale.
If programmers of the top RISC OS applications can work part-time on their serious products, why can't the same be true for the games programmers?
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Jeffrey Lee Message #84910, posted by Phlamethrower at 17:40, 21/11/2000, in reply to message #84909
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OK, we have 4 or 5 people here who can program and want a new version of stuntracer. None of them have the time to get it done properly themselves, but in theory we could plan it out properly and give each person a part to do....

Anybody willing to go in on a joint venture? I doubt we'd be able to make a living off of a 4+ way cut, but we would all gain experience and put a bit more life in the community.

Either that or this is another of my half-baked ideas smile

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Lee Johnston Message #84911, posted by johnstlr at 22:09, 21/11/2000, in reply to message #84910
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Without wishing to throw cold water over the suggestion, the other problem is that those 4 or 5 people are tied up doing other things. My weekends (all the time I can currently spare) are spent working on something else. If I got the darn thing to work then maybe I'd be up for something else...I'd be up for quite a lot of things actually...I just need time.
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Nathan Message #84912, posted by Wrath at 23:35, 21/11/2000, in reply to message #84911
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Also the problem is that coders don't tend to live near one another and doing coding by email is seriously difficult.
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Andrew Message #84913, posted by andreww at 00:30, 22/11/2000, in reply to message #84912
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Just try to get something organised and then approach the official Fednet agent with a programming plan to show that you are serious about it. If you want to do it and realise the committment then this will be necessary. Make sure you all realise this but keep the goal in mind.
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NoMercy Message #84914, posted by NoMercy at 00:37, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84913
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Posts: 2
With OpenGL

So, here are my arguments for 2D
* Easier to program
GL is easier with a good programing library
* Faster than 3D engines
GL is hardware so is faster than software 2D
* You can easily see what's going on - most 3D
ok you got me on that one
* 2D games usually have simpler controls, while 3D games ¥e©g© the SWAT series¤ have complex controls which are getting tricky to fit on just a keyboard and mouse©
but complex controlles can often be used well I play Quake3 with 7 buttons which are always under my fingers and a load of extra buttons to do thoes extra thingys that arent really needed

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Lee Johnston Message #84915, posted by johnstlr at 11:41, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84914
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Posts: 193
With OpenGL

So, here are my arguments for 2D
* Easier to program
GL is easier with a good programing library

"With" a good programming library. Also I don't agree, it all depends on which APIs you're used to. I could argue quite convincingly that my incomplete Warp API is easier than OpenGL but then that's because I know it.

* Faster than 3D engines
GL is hardware so is faster than software 2D

Almost all 3D hardware has 2D acceleration as well. Just because something is done in hardware doesn't mean it's faster than the software equivalent. I remember an article on a hardware implementation of TCP/IP...it wasn't quicker than the software version.

* 2D games usually have simpler controls, while 3D games ¥e©g© the SWAT series¤ have complex controls which are getting tricky to fit on just a keyboard and mouse©
but complex controlles can often be used well I play Quake3 with 7 buttons which are always under my fingers and a load of extra buttons to do thoes extra thingys that arent really needed

I have nothing against complex controls - Starfighter has a few and I think it's great. I also spent considerable effort getting into Black Angel and didn't think the controls were that complex once you had familiarised yourself with them. However complex controls can put people off.

Finally regarding the comments on OpenGL. Well they seem slightly irrelevant given that we don't have a port that's suitable for games. Yes there is Mesa, and it's a fine effort, but it's huge and slow. We could spend ages optimising it but I figure porting or building a miniGL driver from scratch and working up from there would provide a better solution.

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Nathan Message #84916, posted by Wrath at 13:32, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84915
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Posts: 154
Finally regarding the comments on OpenGL. Well they seem slightly irrelevant given that we don't have a port that's suitable for games. Yes there is Mesa, and it's a fine effort, but it's huge and slow. We could spend ages optimising it but I figure porting or building a miniGL driver from scratch and working up from there would provide a better solution.

Here, here. So Lee, when can we expect a miniGL driver and fully working, highly-optimised 3D engine so that we can have games that are "worth" buying on the RO market? wink
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Jeffrey Lee Message #84917, posted by Phlamethrower at 13:41, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84916
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Posts: 15096
and a load of extra buttons to do thoes extra thingys that arent really needed

But when you first get the game, you need to spend ages trying to find a combination that works and makes sense so you can remember it. Complex controls are good, but only if they are actually useable. E.g. what good are radio commands if you've got to stop shooting your enemy to tell your team you're under attack? Most games do group radio commands or let you have 1 key assigned to each, but it's still tricky to get it in a good setup.

As for OpenGL, porting it to RISC OS could be a pretty good idea, and the Omega's 3D API is probably going to be compatable with it somehow. OpenGL would make making 3D games a lot easier (supposing it has a good software driver), and could attract PC programmers/multi-platform games. However it would make game conversion a lot easier, and us getting a game that PC's have had for years already doesn't help the market much (Although with the new computers coming out the time gap should shorten, making conversion a good idea again).

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Mark Quint Message #84918, posted by ToiletDuck at 16:05, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84917
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Yay for (mini)OpenGL!
Nowadays OpenGL has easily become the most adopted API for games.
As far as hardware goes, *hopefully* the Omegas "Lightning" card will already be compatable, and if its not even better - we just then need someone to write some drivers for some of the new Geforce 2MXs that are coming out with PCI slots, even a TNT2 would do compared to what we have now.
The other alternative is with cards like the Viewfinder, as the card it uses (ATi Xpert '9cool, with the right software will support OpenGL, although it look ATi over 2 years to write any decent drivers for it/or any that would crash while installing & then screw up my system.

Even if we were only able to port miniGL it would be a positive step - the 3DFX Voodoo 2000/3000 only supports MiniGL and runs fine with it.

- Having the API would also make Half-Life that bit easier to port for Risc OS too wink

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Mark Quint Message #84919, posted by ToiletDuck at 16:11, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84918
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SFE beat Quake because:
* It is a small download, compared to the shareware episode of Quake
* It runs at a decent speed, because it was programmed properly
* It has good multiplayer - up to 4 people on one computer, compared to Quake which had acceptaable net play but is now running out of players as people move on. Plus net games are harder to set up then getting a friend to sit down next to you to play against
* For single player, shareware Quake only has 1 episode and no bots, so will get boring after a while. However with SFE you could play for as long as you want against up to 3 computers.
* Plus there isn't much point comparing the two since they are completely different games

How can you be so wrong about Quake!!!!!
-Although a little slow, It does run at a playable speed on a SA RiscPC,
-There are hundreds of Mods & Bots for Quake out there, just take a look on http://www.fileplanet.com
-And without Quake we would be without such materpieces (on Windoze) as Half-Life

All Hail Quake!
(and the almighty green penguin from Dorchester)

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Mark Quint Message #84920, posted by ToiletDuck at 16:17, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84919
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<quote>Here, here. So Lee, when can we expect a miniGL driver and fully working, highly-optimised 3D engine so that we can have games that are "worth" buying on the RO market? </quote>

hey, why wait for these "wonderful" OpenGL games that require an Omega or better when you'll soon be able to get EMD & Overcast 2 smile

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Lee Johnston Message #84921, posted by johnstlr at 17:08, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84920
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Posts: 193
<quote>Here, here. So Lee, when can we expect a miniGL driver and fully working, highly-optimised 3D engine so that we can have games that are "worth" buying on the RO market? </quote>

hey, why wait for these "wonderful" OpenGL games that require an Omega or better when you'll soon be able to get EMD & Overcast 2 smile

Well people can expect a MiniGL driver just as soon as I've finished other stuff and I get a machine to develop it on.....You could be waiting a bit cool

Seriously I think it's better to wait and see what Microdigital have in store for Lightning and then perhaps trying to be compatible with that.

One nice thing about OpenGL is that it's a scalable state machine API. Basically any machine should be ablet o run a game written using it (assuming the software driver is fast enough) because you can easily turn off texture mapping, shading etc at will.

Anyway, Mark's right, EMD and Overcast 2 are going to be great (we all hope) cool

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Andrew Message #84922, posted by andreww at 21:52, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84921
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"Worth" buying?
Is that you Nathan?
Or are you quoting the 'must be 3D' quarter?
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Andrew Message #84923, posted by andreww at 21:59, 7/12/2000, in reply to message #84922
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<quote>Here, here. So Lee, when can we expect a miniGL driver and fully working, highly-optimised 3D engine so that we can have games that are "worth" buying on the RO market? </quote>
hey, why wait for these "wonderful" OpenGL games that require an Omega or better when you'll soon be able to get EMD & Overcast 2 smile

:-)
They're more likely to be good now that VOTI have got additional support in addition to management and main programmers!
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Nathan Message #84924, posted by Wrath at 13:54, 8/12/2000, in reply to message #84923
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"Worth" buying?
Is that you Nathan?
Or are you quoting the 'must be 3D' quarter?

I was being sarky.

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Nathan Message #84925, posted by Wrath at 13:56, 8/12/2000, in reply to message #84924
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hey, why wait for these "wonderful" OpenGL games that require an Omega or better when you'll soon be able to get EMD & Overcast 2 smile

:-)
They're more likely to be good now that VOTI have got additional support in addition to management and main programmers!

And that's decent management! wink

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Shane Message #84926, posted by Ramuh at 16:58, 8/12/2000, in reply to message #84925
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Hmm, I suppose some graphics artists who promised to do some work ought to get off their backsides and get some done....tongue

Andrew, I don't know if my emails are getting through to you!

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Andrew Message #84927, posted by andreww at 17:23, 8/12/2000, in reply to message #84926
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If you've sent any they might have been delayed by a day for some unknown reason.
I sent one to you last night but I'll look foward to your stills and I have another nice idea if you're interesting made possible thanks partly to a bit of coding help I received from Richard Wilson.

Andrew

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Shane Message #84928, posted by Ramuh at 17:57, 8/12/2000, in reply to message #84927
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I sent you a couple yesterday, probably been delayed dontcherknow. Modern communications eh ?
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The Icon Bar: Games: 2D or 3D?